Druid - Open World Viability - Need Help — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Druid - Open World Viability - Need Help

ewenness.6482ewenness.6482 Member ✭✭
edited April 15, 2019 in Ranger

I've started playing just about a year ago but then stopped as I struggled with the combat. There's nothing actually wrong with the combat, mind you. My hands shake and my fingers lock up due to a condition which is what causes difficulties. However, after getting a weighted mouse with a good grip and side-buttons that can be positioned however I like, I decided to give the game another go.

Finally hit 80 yesterday on my little leafy ranger, my only character so far, and thought I'd like to be a healer. So off I went, bought some shaman gear, slotted the spirits, happily equipped that nifty tree-staff you get for unlocking druid, and proudly clicked on Nature's Venegance. Felt pretty accomplished. I was ready to heal all the wounded souls of Tyria!

The veteran players are probably groaning after reading that and are going to be unsurprised by what came next: I dealt very little damage while at the same time also did what I presume to be subpar healing! My spirits seem to draw the ire of all hostile beings in the general proximity and their health degrades far too quick unless I focus my healing on them which doesn't seem worthwhile considering the buffs and/or healing they provide is not all that great. My shortbow, despite the +condition damage stat on my equipment, is absolutely pitiful in its output (my pet might have actually been dealing more damage with just the basic attack) and the staff feels borderline useless aside from one skill, Ancestral Grace.

Here is the build I made: http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vNUQJAWVn8ICdqgtsA+qAEtgFOBz5vNAiAwx0baPtZY13CAVM3D-jBiGAB2o8LUlgYor5E1fA4SKo88nFeSBDt/ggAkG-e

Rant over. Now, I know that obviously it's not that druid is underpowered or that staff is useless or that spirits are broken. This mess is all on me and my awful build. I need help. I asked around in map chat and looked over the builds on metabattle. The consensus seems to be to go soulbeast for everything except raid healing where you go druid. That's it. I don't have PoF because I would like to experience the story properly (at least on my first character!) and I haven't even started on HoT yet.

Should I drop the druid and just be a regular ranger? Or just drop staff instead? I would like a build that has higher than average survivability as, due to the previously mentioned hand issues, I can't reliably react as quick as a glass cannon build would require. Would be nice to still be able to help others with healing or buffs but I understand if that's simply not feasible in the open world. I just really enjoy helping others and filling support type roles. I doubt anyone would take me to dungeons let alone raids so that's probably out of the question.

/edited - spelling/

Together we shall speak for the Law and the Land, and shall drive the mongrel dragons of primordial magic from Tyria.

Best Answers

  • UmbraNoctis.1907UmbraNoctis.1907 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2019 Accepted Answer

    Condi druid does work decently for open world PvE, if you build it more selfish and less supportive.
    Ofc it won't have as much dmg as actualy dps specs, but it has better survivability, so exactly what you are looking for.

    Buildwise i'd opt for something like this:
    http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vNUQJAWVjEqQNL2tCmrAVLWMEMmAwor0BnVHrpVnVXza2Vhn5A-jRRAgAUHBguHAA4FAof/BgDBAA-e

    Keep in mind, this is meant to be a rough "prototype", not something that needs to be copied 1:1.
    Wilderness Survival does not offer that much survivability in PvE, so drop that. Skirmishing offers a lot of condi dmg, so take this instead. You need dmg to kill stuff after all. Drop spirits, as they are not that great open-world. Use Sharpening Stone and Traps for more dmg. You can also take a defensive skill, eg. a stun break, if needed.
    Swap some traits from Druid and Nature Magic to more selfish/defensive stuff (Protective Ward/Druidic Clarity).
    You can drop the staff for Axe/Torch, but it might be better to keep it for the survivability. Don't forget, staff 5 is a projectile block and a water field that can be blasted with staff 3 and CA 3, staff 4 can help with break bars and staff 2 adds a small HoT to targets in melee range of the enemy and helps charging CA, so there are more usefull skills than just staff 3. Similar goes for swapping from NM to WS. The latter offers more dmg, but for now the survivability from NM might be more valuable.
    Recommending gear stats for you is difficult. Ideally you go for as much dmg as possible (viper), but i guess you don't have access to this stat combination yet and survivability might be an issue without any defensive stats (though the range, pets and defensive traits alone offer a fair amount of survival). What you can use instead is a mix of the following: Rampager, Rabid, Apothecary, Celestial (if you have enough Laurels you can get ascended celestial trinkets, otherwise don't bother with this). Once you have viper gear, i'd still recommend to use as much pieces as you feel comfortable with.
    Shaman is unfortunately not good, because it has vitality as main stat, and high hp are useless if the build lacks in other aspects. Keep in mind, dead enemies can't hurt you, so don't go too defensive statwise.
    You pet choices are ok, but if you feel like you don't need the healing from the fern hound, you should use the Tiger or Lynx instead.

    If you end up in a situation, where you want to focus more on support, eg during a grp event or maybe in dungeons and low lvl fractals, you can always swap to Spirits/Spotter/Ancestral Grace. Builds don't have to be set in stone, so don't hesistate to adapt.

  • TamX.1870TamX.1870 Member ✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2019 Accepted Answer

    I am not familiar with condi druids (but I make you a promise I try it out some day). My open world Druid is adaptation from former WvW roaming druid, that is, it is power based. I like to note, that:

    • Staff damage is power based. Staff damage was of course nerfed heavily enough that even with power based builds there is nothing to write home about.
    • Celestial Avatar skill damage is power based. This damage was also nerfed, so even with power builds it is not that high.
    • Sigils you use either for CA generation (like Sigil of Water or Sigil of Blood) or to apply conditions (like Sigil of Earth) are nowadays triggered by critical hit.
    • Also (life stealing) food that helps CA generation trigger on crit

    For those reasons, Rampager (and Viper) are definitely stats you need to consider. Try to get at least crit rate high enough to trigger sigils and traits (bleed on crit) within their cooldown. Krait runes to increase bleed time are nice, with Agony sigil bleed duration is almost doubled. One other option you might consider could be Undead runes.

    As @UmbraNoctis.1907 suggest, you could mix in some Apothecary, Shaman, Rabid, Carrion or Dire, but don't go too extreme with health and armor. They won't help you much, with too large amounts they just delay the inevitable a bit. If you have something like 19-20k health and ~2500 armor, you should usually be just good (that is, higher numbers won't help you anymore). I have myself thought trying Celestial Condi Druid at some point, but at the moment I can't say much about those stats. In general, I think you can give up Healing Power to get more offensive stats.

    Druid and Skirmishing are definitely trait lines you want, but for third one I think you might consider three options:

    • Nature's Magic: As suggested, this has nice defensive traits.
    • Beastmastery: In "old" times, druids were build so that they kept their pet alive, and damage was mainly done by pet. Beastmastery is a trait line to boost that. Nowadays pet damage is nerfed, but this still has some possibly interesting traits, like "Resounding Timber" (in which case your shouts grant regen, good for CA generation).
    • Wilderness Survival: This is also defensive line, but it relies more about evading.

    Metabattle has one condi druid build for open world, maybe you get some ideas from that: https://metabattle.com/wiki/Build:Druid_-_Condi_Trapper

  • TamX.1870TamX.1870 Member ✭✭✭
    Accepted Answer

    @ewenness.6482 said:
    ...I'll look over what I can get with gold (I think I only have about 50 laurels due to my inactivity so need to work on that.) and play around with the build Umbra linked. Once I have a bit more time I'll also get into crafting more seriously. I maxed my cooking and artificing over the past five weeks because in every game I play I immediately take up the guild cook and alchemist role (What can I say except you're welcome!) but haven't touched the other professions yet.

    Hold yourself a bit. You can gear yourself with Rares or even lowe quality pieces, and go out trying the build. Once you find something that satisfy you, you can start getting higher quality pieces.

    Generally, I really hope there would be "rare quality legendary pieces" in addition to current "ascended quality legendaries", so it would be easier to try out builds before starting to investing in them.

    It might be advantageous to get a power set as well and see how it compares to condition. It feels like power is better for regular open world enemies due to front-loading the damage and taking them out quicker rather than the user having to kite the baddies around while waiting for the conditions to whittle down those health bars. Then again, I keep hearing that a good condition build apparently melts everything in seconds.

    Well, I can tell what my open world power Druid build has. Due to nerfs to certain things that affect druid performance, it is not anymore as competent as it used to be. Quite long time ago I switched out from staff at WvW side, and replaced it with GS + LB combo. Today at open world I generally run GS + Axe/Axe combo, sometimes with mainhad sword. Sword is bit more defensive and has better damage, but mainhand axe gives you some ranged attacks for those rare situations you need them. Staff is OK, but IMO GS provides better utility value: it has AoE damage, evade frame in autoattack, block, hard hitting maul and stun. Sadly, it is power damage, so it can be hard to apply to condi builds. x/Axe #5 gives nice AoE. You will find AoE nice because then you can quickly get rid from lower health adds, and thus you can greatly drop down the pressure on you.

    Staff has some heals, but in general the sustain comes from CA form. Staff helps getting CA power, true. To compensate lack of staff, I have usually slotted either Blood or Water sigils. Water is more efficient in meta events when you have allies around you. Also, taking Beastmastery (which works nicely w/ GS + Axe combo) with Resounding Timber you apply regen by shouts, and thus if you slot "We heal as one" as heal and "Protect me" as stun break, you apply regen to allies, and that speeds up CA generation. With Druid and Beastmastery I have ran with Marksmanship, Nature's Magic, Skirmishing and Wilderness Survival. I can't choose the best one from those, they all have their good sides.

    As my open world power druid build inherits from my former WvW roaming build, it is nowadays a mix of marauder and berserker pieces.

  • Cragga the Eighty Third.6015Cragga the Eighty Third.6015 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited April 15, 2019 Accepted Answer

    I play a solo druid main in open world. I am super casual, so it isn't calculated for the most optimal everything, and I apparently don't play druid the way it's 'supposed to' be played. But my druid is very survivable, and does just fine soloing story stuff and open world content, plus still having the ability to add a little extra healing to any group events I happen to wander into.

    If you are interested:
    I have a Yassith(Viper) coat and Forgemaster(Rampager) leggings for the power and condi damage. The rest of the armor is Celestial, which adds some toughness, vitality and healing power. Runes of Dwayna. The staff is Cleric's stats, for healing power, with a Superior Rune of Life, but I only use that when in a big group battle where my outgoing healing matters more than my DPS. My main weapons are double axes with Commander's stats. My specializations are Nature Magic, Beast Mastery (for the axe boost) and Druid. And, to be honest, I rarely use spirits. (Glyph of Rejuvenation, Search and Rescue, Signet of Stone, Glyph of Equality, and either Spirit of Nature or Asura defense golem, depending on the situation.)

    I know the meta build thing is all about being a super specialized tool in a group, but if your main aim is to run around open world alone having a good time, a custom build that is durable and all-around useful will probably be more fun than a super-specialized one.

Answers

  • Thank you Umbra and Tax for the extremely detailed answers! I'm still at work at the moment but once I get home I'll look over what I can get with gold (I think I only have about 50 laurels due to my inactivity so need to work on that.) and play around with the build Umbra linked. Once I have a bit more time I'll also get into crafting more seriously. I maxed my cooking and artificing over the past five weeks because in every game I play I immediately take up the guild cook and alchemist role (What can I say except you're welcome!) but haven't touched the other professions yet.

    It might be advantageous to get a power set as well and see how it compares to condition. It feels like power is better for regular open world enemies due to front-loading the damage and taking them out quicker rather than the user having to kite the baddies around while waiting for the conditions to whittle down those health bars. Then again, I keep hearing that a good condition build apparently melts everything in seconds.

    Together we shall speak for the Law and the Land, and shall drive the mongrel dragons of primordial magic from Tyria.

  • Wanted to come back to this thread to once again thank you all for the wonderful comments and also to link the build I've came up with after much experimenting. It's not a damage-focused build by any means but it does deal enough damage to take down foes in a timely fashion while still offering enough passive and active defenses to account for mistakes. It also allows me to fulfill a support role on the side. Not enough for raiding or fractals but enough for open world where those celestial avatar heals or some extra regeneration ticks or a nice protection boon can make all the difference.

    My favourite aspect is the flexibility it offers. Depending on what situation or even what type of mobs I'm facing, I can change my 6-0 skills easily and be effective with all variations (more shouts and less spirits, more glyphs and less shouts, full spirit with just heal shout, full glyph with just spirit elite, etc.) and I can also swap my off-hands around when I feel like going double axe.

    http://gw2skills.net/editor/?vNUQRBHhx+0JlKQtgYBrgvKARLYpQwe6CRrAgTrLG8Dg7qj106JCfXTA-jRCBABFt/wDmfA4kKkj6PgPBRDlgqo/ZKlfU8kCIEArtA-e

    It has performed well so far in the base game, Silverwastes, Dry Top and my first tentative steps into Verdant Brink. I have also soloed several champion events around the world by using this build and switching the pets to pink moa for CC and fern hound for the extra heal. Also, spiky fruits are a big help for anyone looking to do even more CC. Costs a few coppers each in the Sylvari starting area.

    Together we shall speak for the Law and the Land, and shall drive the mongrel dragons of primordial magic from Tyria.

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